Spray-On Polyaniline/Poly(acrylic acid) Electrodes with Enhanced Electrochemical Stability Academic Article uri icon


  • Polyaniline (PANI)-based electrodes are promising candidates for energy storage, but their cycle life remains poor. Recent work suggests that secondary interactions may enhance polyaniline's electrochemical stability and cycle life, but evidence to date is not conclusive. Here, we investigate spray-assisted layer-by-layer assemblies containing polyaniline nanofibers (PANI NFs) or conventional PANI and poly(acrylic acid) (PAA), which provides hydrogen bonding and electrostatic interactions. This spray-on approach may be suitable for the deposition of PANI onto a variety of surfaces. The effects of PANI type, PAA pH, and PAA molecular weight on the growth behavior, conductivity, and electrochemical performance are examined. It is shown that LbL films with PANI NFs, higher molecular weight PAA, and lower PAA pH yield the thickest films, whereas the thinnest films come from conventional PANI assembled under similar conditions. Electron microscopy imaging and density measurements show that LbL films containing PANI NFs are very porous, whereas those containing conventional PANI are very dense (0.28 vs 1.33 g/cm(3), respectively). The difference in density dramatically affects the electrochemical properties in terms of capacity and long-term cycling behavior. Upon extended cycling, PANI NFs alone rapidly lose their electrochemical activity. On the other hand, PANI NF-based LbL films exhibited somewhat enhanced stability, and PANI-based LbL films were exceptionally stable, maintaining 94.7% of their capacity after 1000 cycles when cycled up to 4.2 V vs Li/Li(+). These results show that secondary interactions from PAA enhance stability, as does the selection of PANI type and the electrode's density.

author list (cited authors)

  • Jeon, J., Kwon, R. a., Li, F., & Lutkenhaus, J. L.

publication date

  • January 1, 2015 11:11 AM